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All of the family, none of the drama! Founded in 2002, our family owned and operated winery creates premium VQA certified wines from our own meticulously chosen grapes.

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Appassimento Winemaking

Niagara is quickly gaining ground on traditional winemaking regions, like France and Italy. Old world techniques are merging with new technologies in a climate that is quickly changing. This is the perfect storm for those mad-scientists, aka: winemakers to use their ingenuity and skill to craft wines that are making major waves.

The Appassimento method is Niagara’s current proverbial ace-up-the-sleeve. Read on to see why.

So what is the Appassimento method? (Aside from super fun to say) It’s the process of drying grapes, usually in a greenhouse or trailer, prior to fermentation. The main benefit is concentrated sugar without increased acidity. This allows for fuller-bodied European style wines, without the ‘green-ness’ sometimes tied to Niagara reds. Not unlike a dry-aged steak concentrates and intensifies the flavors. (Appassi-meat-o?? no? ok) The method helps Niagara wineries define a signature style while adapting to sudden climate changes and extreme weather events within the region. Back in 2013, Brock’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute stated that it gives winemakers control over things like heat stress, extreme cold and certain types of rot. New proprietary drying systems have made huge strides in enhancing the quality and consistency of Canadian table wines, fruit wines and port wines too! Cabernet Franc was one of the first attempts at an Appassimento-style red among Beamsville Bench wineries. The varietal has become a rising star in the last ten years, with plenty of local and global recognition. Cornerstone Winery was among the first to offer an Appassimento Cabernet Franc, as well as a Pinot Gris, in 2012 and 2013, both dried in tobacco kilns.

Repurposing tobacco kilns has proven to be an innovative drying method that takes only a few days. This allows wine makers to amplify flavors, and ensure consistency. Ultimately, it takes a premium wine to reserve-status pretty quickly!

So, How do you ID an Appassimento-style wine at the tasting bar? The fruity characteristics depend on several factors. Wines can have berry, plum and earthy notes, depending on the varietal. Appassimento style wines are also sophisticated, woody and spicy, without feeling ‘green’ (grapes are still picked at peak maturity, so this technique is not a substitute for good harvesting practices). The best way to know for sure? ASK!! Your local sommeliers love learning about winemaking techniques and are always happy to share their insider wisdom with you!
Thirsty for more? Beamsville Bench winemakers have teamed up to provide the ultimate guide in a fun Appassimento event: Subscribe to our email list or join our wine club for exclusive invitations!

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Appassimento Winemaking

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4390 Tufford Rd, Beamsville ON, L0R 1B1
Mon-Tue: Closed
Wed-Thu: 12-5pm | Fri-Sun: 11am-6pm

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